Frank Ocean created his own buzz with the independent release of his project Nostalgia, Ultra last year in February. He caught the attention of many artists including Kanye West and Jay-Z, who had him featured on two songs on the Grammy-nominated Watch The Throne album. His name was buzzing his own project’s release but it grew even larger after the Watch The Throne album was dropped. Ocean was no longer on the shelves at Def Jam and soon began to work on his debut album.
channel Orange is a very solid project which incorporates the use of interludes at the end of and in-between songs to help the album flow smoothly from start to finish. One of the qualities of this album is that Frank Ocean’s vocal talent is on full display. The first song that you hear on the album is a slightly-altered version of Frank’s hit single “Thinkin Bout You” that was released last year. “Sweet Life” and “Sierra Leone,” the two very good tracks that follow it, truly deserve a visual to accompany them in the near future. “Lost” is probably my favorite record on the entire album and has the potential of being a standout single and a very big record on the radio due to its very catchy hook.
The first feature on the album is Frank’s fellow Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt. Frank raps and sings about kids with loose ends on “Super Rich Kids” while Earl delivers a very laid back verse that blends in well with the track. John Mayer is featured on “Pyramids” and “White”, but only plays guitar on both songs due to his inability to sing at the moment. Andre 3000 is the last artist to feature on a track towards the end of the album. His verse on “Pink Matter” is a bit too fast paced for the song, but you can’t really complain too much about a 3 stacks feature since they don’t come around too often nowadays. There was definitely some type of pressure on Frank to deliver a good debut album due to the buzz he had built up with his previous project, but I think channel ORANGE will live up to (and even exceed) many people’s expectations and may even be considered for one of the best albums of the year somewhere down the line.
Key Tracks: Thinkin Bout You, Sierra Leone, Sweet Life, Super Rich Kids, Pyramids, Lost
Pick up Channel Orange on iTunes now or in stores this upcoming Tuesday.